Website has become an integral part of a successful business strategy in the digital era. Enhanced online presence, increased visibility, improved credibility, uplifted marketing efforts, expanded reach, and enabled e-commerce capability are some of the top reasons why businesses need a website today. In fact, according to a Forbes research advisor, 71% of businesses have a website. The Covid-19 impact largely attributes to website development growth.
After every three seconds, a new website is built. It means businesses are increasingly shifting to create their online presence with website development. However, there are two ways to build a website- custom website development from scratch by hiring a web development company or opting for website solutions from website builders. Both development approaches have their weakness and strength that businesses should know before going ahead with one.
In this blog, we will demystify things related to custom website development and readymade website builders so that businesses can easily select the right development approach.
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Custom website development is the process of creating a website from scratch, tailored specifically to meet the unique needs and requirements of businesses. It involves designing and developing a website from the ground up, where every aspect of the website is created and tailored according to your specifications. This includes the layout, design, features, functionality, user experience, and more.
The successful web development process typically involves the following steps:
Custom web development offers the advantage of complete control and flexibility over the website’s design, features, and functionality. It allows businesses to create a unique online presence that aligns with their branding and caters to their specific needs. A consistent brand identity is created while stepping in with the latest technological trends.
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A website builder is a platform that allows businesses to create websites without requiring extensive coding knowledge or technical skills. Shopify, Wix, and Squarespace are some of the best website builders that provide a user-friendly interface and pre-designed templates that can be customized to create a website quickly and easily. Each platform has a distinct set of features that businesses can use online or offline.
Here are some key features and characteristics of website-building platforms:
Website builders are an accessible and cost-effective solution for businesses looking to create a professional website quickly and with minimal technical expertise. They eliminate the need for coding knowledge and can save time and money compared to custom website development.
When comparing website development and website builders, it’s important to consider the specific needs and requirements of your project. Here’s a one-to-one comparison to help you evaluate which option may be the best fit:
Custom website development typically requires technical expertise in web development programming languages and frameworks. You may need to hire experienced web programmers to bring your vision to life. When you outsource a web development project, the hourly rates of web developers vary according to region, seniority level, expertise, and experience. Also, the website development cost doesn’t cover hosting and domain name registration cost, businesses will need to pay extra for the same.
Website builders are often cost-effective compared to custom development. They usually offer affordable subscription plans that include hosting and other necessary features. When the fixed-price plan is upgraded, businesses will have access to more resources and tools as required. This makes them a suitable option for small businesses with limited budgets.
Result: When free plans of website builders are considered, getting the website built using a website builder platform is a cost-effective option.
When you want to get build a website from scratch, it goes through a long process from project idea conceptualization to final development and deployment as explained before. The continuous iterations based on user feedback extend the time to create a website.
Website builders enable rapid website creation. You can choose from pre-designed templates, customize the content, color, fonts, and other elements with drag-and-drop, and have your website up and running in a short time frame.
Result: Website builder win this round.
Unless you are a maestro of programming language, framework, and other tools, you cannot build a website from the ground up. For custom website development, the developers must write error-free code that results in stable, modernized website development that performs to the notch. The knowledge and experience of coding is a must-have to build functionalities in sync with the latest trends.
Website builders are designed to be user-friendly and require little to no coding knowledge. The templates provided by website builders are easily customizable when the online tutorial is used. With a low learning curve involved (Knowledge of CSS and PHP), necessary tweaks to design and functionalities are applied to the website. They provide a visual interface with drag-and-drop functionality, making it easy for anyone to create a website quickly.
Result: When you don’t have coding experts on board and want to have a website in a few days, the website builder is the right fit for you.
Custom Website development offers complete flexibility and customization options. Businesses will have full control over the design, features, and functionality of your website. They can create a unique and tailored online presence that aligns with specific branding and requirements with custom web development.
While website builders provide customization options, they are constrained by the capabilities and limitations of the platform. Customization may be limited to the available templates and predefined options provided by the builder.
Result: Custom website development is a good option when businesses are looking for a personalized website.
Website scalability needs are fulfilled by website builders through additional features that businesses can unlock by paying an extra amount. Businesses can enhance their website by increasing plans to high-tier and scaling up the features. In fact, third-party integrations and add-ons are also popularly available on subscriptions if the selected platform has a partnership with these tools.
When a custom website is developed with required features and functionalities, and post-development, if it needs to be scaled up with more features, offshore developers can make it possible without much ado. There will be no limitations when the website is scaled by the web development outsourcing company.
Result: Custom-built websites are more scalable than those built using website builders.
If interested in getting a website built hassle-free and scaling it up seamlessly in the future, get to know more about how to outsource a website development project.
Website builders provide a rich collection of pre-built templates that best fit the needs of a range of industry verticals. The free and premium templates are easy to design without any coding skills required. Also, templates from third-party online marketplaces like- ThemeForest enable creation of attractive website pages in a short time. However, higher accessibility to templates makes them common, and opting for complex templates makes customization difficult.
When the website design needs are not fulfilled by available templates, go ahead with a custom website design. This approach helps in getting a website design to your taste. Plus, the flexibility to alter the design by 100% is feasible, which is not available with website builders.
Result: Website development facilitates a high degree of design flexibility so that businesses can get unique designs crafted as their business project require.
Continuous updates are part and parcel of business websites after they are launched. Website builders facilitate support and maintenance services so that websites get necessary updates automatically without the technical skills required. The auto-rollout of updates prevents the risks of unexpected crashes.
Custom-built websites are required to be updated on a regular basis, which demands maintenance services mandatorily. It requires hiring web developers, post-development that provides continuous support and maintenance services. It increases the website development cost proportionately.
Result: Website builders provide maintenance services ceaselessly with no technical assistance required. Custom-built websites need developers to receive updates constantly.
Additional Reading: Web Development Myths
Having a website benefits businesses in many ways. The advantages can be cherished when a website is built in either way- website builder or website development. It’s confusing for businesses to decide which way to go.
Website development offers extensive customization, scalability, and full control, but it requires technical expertise and higher investment. Website builders provide ease of use, affordability, and faster development but have limitations in customization and scalability. Consider your specific needs, resources, and the level of control you require to determine which option is the best fit for your business project.
An enthusiastic Operations Manager at TopDevelopers.co, coordinating and managing the technical and functional areas. She is an adventure lover, passionate traveler, an admirer of nature, who believes that a cup of coffee is the prime source to feel rejuvenated. Researching and writing about technology keeps her boosted and enhances her professional journeying.